Dec 27, 2016

UTICA COMETS (10-14-4) vs. ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS (15-12-3)
Utica Memorial Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets look to shake a season-long six-game winless streak tonight against the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:00 p.m.

Last Game: The Bruins got off to a torrid start with three goals in the first 12:11 last Wednesday. On eight shots, the three goals were enough to remove Thatcher Demko from the game. Michael Garteig and the Comets attempted a comeback but fell short with only one goal which came from Darren Archibald. His eighth of the year was scored halfway through the second period. Garteig relieved Demko and was stellar as he stopped all 18 shots on net.

Head-to-Head: The IceCaps have had the Comets’ number to the start the season series. In the first three games played, St. John’s has won all three and outscored the Comets 13-6. The teams will play for a total of eight times and meet again on Friday night.  

Scouting the IceCaps: St. John’s currently sits in 3rd place in the North Division with 33 points, and are coming off a 2-1 win over Toronto on Monday night. The team is loaded from the back end, which begins with netminder Charlie Lindgren. The rookie possesses a .922 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average.  He is tied for third with 11 wins, ranks fourth with 1144:03 minutes and has seen the second most shots in the AHL with 618. With the IceCaps top five point collectors playing in Montreal or injured, Stefan Matteau and Michael McCarron lead all active players with 12 points.

Home Trouble: In the last meeting against St. John’s, which occurred at The AUD, Utica was shutout for the first time this season. In addition, the Comets have been held to just one goal on six occasions this season. The most recent occurrence came last Wednesday on home ice against the Providence Bruins. The Comets are 2-3-1 in the last six home games and are one game below .500 in Utica this season.

Arch Madness: Darren Archibald has picked up a point in each of the last two games after going pointless for three straight games. The forward has scored eight goals and added eight assists in 28 games played. In a single season, he is on pace to surpass his career high in goals (14 in 2014-15) and assists (12 in 2013-14). Archibald is also on pace to finish with the lowest penalty minutes since 2012-13 where he registered 47 penalty minutes with the Chicago Wolves.

Stay Positive: Marco Roy, Derek Hulak and Darren Archibald are the only three Comets players above zero in the plus/minus category. Roy leads the team with a plus-three rating in 12 games played. In addition, the forward has collected three points in his previous five contests.

Blue Line Help: Jordan Subban continues his stellar offensive play from the blue line, totaling five points in the last seven games. The defenseman has 19 points on the year, ranking 9th among defensemen in the AHL.

Next Game: Utica continues the five-game home stand on Friday against St. John’s. The teams meet again at The AUD with a faceoff at 7 p.m.

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